I thought that digital skills were not that big a deal, and that lifelong learning was not important; I would have said that it was just for school leavers or students. I have now proven myself wrong and have not just learned a valuable lesson but also a lot of useful knowledge. This would never have been possible if I had not had the support and advice from my ULF project worker.
Over the past twelve months or more my project worker has continually spoke about the importance of digital skills, and how important it was to make sure we were skilled to face the challenges that lay ahead. Nobody could have predicted just how quick things were going to change, and how reliant we would be on our knowledge of new technology. If it had not been for the advice and information that I had received from my ULF project worker, I would have been even less prepared than I was.
I moved to a new house in the week prior to the first lockdown, and where I would normally phone or visit people in person regarding my change in details, I suddenly found myself in this new and frightening world of online meetings, form filling, and other things that I could not do. Then I remembered the advice given by my project worker about how this was nothing to be afraid off, and how you could teach yourself the very basics. I have now set up online banking and paid bills with a confidence that I never had before. I have also managed to update my address on my driving licence, sorted out my car insurance, create an account for paying my council tax, paid my TV licence and I am sure there is more to come.
If I had not had the support from my ULF project worker, and had not been pointed in the right direction, then I think that I would have been struggling to sort any of this out.
I am now in regular contact with my project worker who supplies me with regular information on how I and my fellow employees, and family, can up-skill themselves, I have spoken with my site manager who is also keen to work with the learning project to see how we can identify skills gaps, and work out a joint training programme to make sure that the workforce is prepared for the challenges that lie ahead. We are also looking at getting a joint learning agreement between the union learning project and management, this would benefit all the workforce including my employer.
The union learning project helps us plan the future training needs of the company, which will benefit the workforce and will help us stay ahead of the game. The employer would simply not have the time to do this without the help of the union learning project, if that project was not there, we would not have the training programme for the future.